News

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  • 22/06/2017 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    As you all should know, it has been a requirement for the last few years for all umpires in the VAFA to hold a valid Working With Children Check (WWCC).

    The VAFA, with VAFAUA support, will soon be conducting an audit to verify that all umpires hold a current WWCC, or fall into an approved exemption. This will be completed shortly after the Bye week.

    We understand there are a variety of reasons why you may not hold a current WWC card at this time. For example, you may have just turned 18, or your previous card may have recently expired. 

    All umpires without a current WWCC must urgently take action to obtain this card.

    Please also bear in mind that you must notify the authority (via the WWCC website) if you change address/contact details, and must notify them within 21 days if you start work at a new organisation. An example would be an umpire who has a WWCC from their work at a Junior association, and has recently joined the VAFA.

    Further details will follow from VAFA Umpire Operations as to how this information will be collected, and the cut-off date (which we expect to be shortly after the bye week). Umpires who do not have a valid WWCC after this date will not be appointed. To save embarrassment, and to ensure you can continue to be appointed, you should apply for this card NOW.

    Please visit http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au for more details, and to apply.

  • 16/06/2017 7:29 PM | Anonymous

    Umpires Corner

    I’m sure that most of our umpires (along with players) enjoyed the week rest to let the body recover and refresh as Representative Football time of year approaches. It is also a great opportunity for us all to stop and reflect on the season so far, and set our goals for the second half.

    Milestones

    This weekend we have two umpires reaching their 200th match in the VAFA!

    Guy Hexter reaches this milestone in his 10th season with the association. Guy also serves as the coach of our Cadet group of umpires, teaching our newbies (and not so newbies!) the art of umpiring in the VAFA before they move to our other squads. Congratulations on your milestone, Guy!

    Adrian Keane also brings up his 200th game Milestone this week. Adrian is a regular fixture in the Goals in Premier grade, and he also serves on the VAFAUA committee, helping keep the association running smoothly. Adrian also arranges all matters honuor-board, so keep in his good books if you want your name spelled correctly! Congratulations Adrian – I know the Goalies will ensure your milestone is celebrated in style!

    During Round 7 Jamie Gunn officiated his 500th VAFA match during the second game of his double header –Kew v Old Hailebury in the Premier C Reserves. Double (and triple?) Headers are a common event for Jamie, and he is always the first available to fill in when we need. Jamie has also run the boundary and waved the flags in numerous finals throughout the years.

    Congratulations Jamie on this wonderful achievement – and we know there are many, many more games to come!

    Social Week Off…

    Western Campus Dinner Success

    Our tight-knit Western Campus, who train at Westbourne Grammar School, held their Mid-Season Dinner during the break, with a great turnout. It is inspiring to see that such a great bond has been formed under the watchful eye of coach Terry Gunn and his able assistants, and that the group continues to grow.

    Goal Umpire’s Mid-Season Dinner

    In the same week as our Western Campus, our Goal Umpires held their own Mid-Season dinner get-together. It is great to see our umpires choosing to get together to socialize on non-training nights. Thank you to Alex Wolf and Ray Stokes (and the others I’m sure I’ve missed!) for their efforts in organising the night.

    Save the Date – Pre-Finals Dinner

    It’s never too early to get excited about our signature event for the year!

    The VAFAUA Pre-Finals Dinner will be held on the 28th of August, once again in the Members Dining Room at the MCG. We have a few changes to the night in store, and it promises to once again be a stellar evening. Keep the date free for this compulsory event – we will have more details over the coming weeks.  

    APPOINTMENTS - ROUND 9. Reminder - Schedula is the primary source of appointment information.

  • 10/06/2017 5:31 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    Yesterday afternoon you will have received an email from Brian Woodhead detailing the change to training nights from Monday 10th of July.

    For some, this will confirm what you were advised earlier in the season.

    However, for most of you, this will come as a very inconvenient surprise.

    Within Brian’s email, you will see a list of reasons justifying the change. It should be noted that the VAFAUA support the aims and goals outlined, however, despite allusions to the contrary from some circles, the change in training night was IN NO WAY supported by the VAFAUA committee. 

    The VAFAUA were told of the change to training night not long prior to Round 1, and were advised that this was the unanimous position of the Umpiring Department and Coaching group.

    The VAFAUA Committee held (and continues to hold) significant concerns about this change, and we do not believe that a change in training night is required to achieve these mutually desirable outcomes. This position was strongly communicated to the VAFA Umpiring Department. 

    The VAFAUA recognise that the provision of training nights belongs to the VAFA Umpiring Department, and we remain confident that we did everything practical to ensure the VAFA were aware of the significance of this change to our members, and of all the factors at play.

    The initial plan presented to the VAFAUA involved Monday/Wednesday training continuing from pre-season. The VAFAUA were mindful that many of our members have commitments outside of umpiring, and they would be significantly affected. We argued that umpires needed time to adjust their other life commitments, and a change to Monday/Wednesday, if it must occur, should be delayed to give this time. We were pleased the VAFA Umpiring Department agreed to this change, although we are disappointed that they chose to wait until June to communicate the July change to the whole group, rather than tell all umpires when the decision was confirmed in April. 

    For the avoidance of doubt, Old Melbournians Football Club will change to Tuesday/Thursday night training at the same time, and we will not be sharing the oval on our training nights.

    Despite the inconvenience that this may cause you, we ask that all umpires continue to engage with the VAFA and VAFAUA, and where possible, continue to attend training and coaching nights. The VAFA remains an exciting place to be, and ‘the place to umpire’.

    Finally, we encourage any umpire who has concerns about this change, and their ability to participate in training and coaching, to contact Brian Woodhead and your coach for further guidance. 

    We hope you all enjoy a happy and safe Queen’s Birthday weekend off, and look forward to seeing you back on the training track on Tuesday and Thursday next week. 

    VAFAUA Committee

  • 08/06/2017 9:38 AM | Anonymous

    There will be no training held this Thursday night (8 June), with no matches this weekend (Queens Birthday).

    Training will resume Tuesday 13 June.

    We hope all umpires will enjoy the break, and look forward to seeing you all back on the 13th.

  • 31/05/2017 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    A reminder to all umpires that the pay run for May games is on the 8th of June.

    VAFAUA Membership fees have been deducted for those commencing after round 4.

    All pay related enquiries (other than VAFAUA Membership) should be directed to Brian Woodhead.

  • 26/05/2017 11:28 AM | Anonymous

    Trivia Night Success

    Thank you to all who joined us for our annual Trivia Night fundraiser and social evening. Quizmaster Tony Hales once again had our umpires scratching their heads, and there was only a modicum of mobile phone cheating used by the winning table.

    Special thanks to Tony Hales for running all things Quiz (including supplying the pens!), Haydn O’Connor for organizing the evening (including taking up delivery van driving duties), and of course to the one and only Dom Napoli for his enormous support of the evening. Anyone who has attended will know just how much Dom brings to this evening, and it wouldn’t be a UA trivia night without his troop!

    Highlights of the evening included Hugo Burstin talking about ‘delights’, and the ‘nearest the pin’ bottle being won by a man who doesn’t drink! But the star performance of the night goes to Matt ‘Neil Diamond’ Oakley and his ‘Sweet Chocolate Bar’ rendition. The video can be found in the May 20th Forum on our website!

    Integrity Tip-Off – Raffles!

    So far this season the umpires have been lucky enough to take home a number of after-match raffle wins. Kevin ‘Chillie’ Segota and Michael Hooper come to mind, both having taken home first prizes – but we are a little suspicious over the activities last weekend.

    Brian ‘Woody’ Woodhead, VAFA Umpire Operations Manager was asked to draw the raffle at an unnamed club after-match; a task he willingly accepted. It should come as no surprise that he then drew out his own ticket, taking home first prize (much to the chagrin of the assembled masses).

    Perhaps the VAFA Integrity system needs to expand to after-match raffles!

    Vale – Peter Cook

    As many in the VAFA community will know, Peter Cook, father of VAFA and VAFAUA identify Brian Goodman sadly passed away last weekend. You will see all our umpires wearing black arm-bands in memory and support of Brian and his family this weekend.

    Save the Date – Pre-Finals Dinner

    It’s never too early to get excited about our signature event for the year!

    The VAFAUA Pre-Finals Dinner will be held on the 28th of August, once again in the Members Dining Room at the MCG. We have a few changes to the night in store, and it promises to once again be a stellar evening. Keep the date free for this compulsory event – we will have more details over the coming weeks.


    ROUND 7 APPOINTMENTS. A reminder that Schedula remains the primary source of match information, and for any queries or conflicts please contact your coach.

  • 20/05/2017 1:14 AM | Anonymous

    New Faces in Premier


    Despite being only 5 rounds in, we have had even more umpires making their debuts in Premier section over the last two weeks. Getting the opportunity to officiate premier grades takes hard work and patience, but those aspiring to run in the top flight can be assured that it is certainly within reach. 


    Round 4 saw Curtis Ary run the boundary in Premier for the first time in the match between Collegians and Old Melbournians. 


    In round 5 Sam Rattray made his debut on the boundary at Daley Oval, Trinity – not the easiest introduction! 


    Round 5 also saw our first Goal Umpire promotion to Premier, with Jake Marniewaving the flags at Sportscover Arena in the Old Melbournians v University Blues match. Congratulations to you all!


    Past Umpires


    The VAFAUA is looking to reconnect with our past umpires – and to start this process off, we’re asking our past umpires (PUMPS) to pop along to our website, and register to receive our updates. Please visit www.vafaua.asn.au and click “Follow Us” (located on the lower right hand side).


    Request for Old Uniforms


    As part of the VAFA 125 year celebration, the VAFAUA is seeking uniforms from days gone by. We’ll be arranging a photo shoot/video, and would love to have you and/or your uniform involved. Please email president@vafaua.asn.au if you can help out.


    Trivia Night this week!


    The VAFAUA Trivia Night is this Saturday Night (20th May)! The rooms will be open from 6:30pm with Quizmaster Tony Hales asking the first question at 7:15. At only $10 a head, it’s a great opportunity to meet fellow umpires, bring family and friends along, and support the UA in what is certain to be a great night.


    ROUND 6 APPOINTMENTS

  • 05/05/2017 8:54 PM | Anonymous

    Umpires Corner Round 4

    Premier Debutants

    Over the first few rounds of the season we’ve seen three young boundary umpires make their debuts in Premier grade. To achieve an appointment at VAFA Premier level takes determination, hard work, and in a lot of cases, patience.

    Brothers Bailey and Cooper Joyce joined the VAFA in 2015, and quickly moved from the U/19’s up to senior football. After another solid season in 2016, including Premier B and C matches, they both officiated the U/19 Premier Grand Final. In Round 2 they took to the field for their first Premier match between De La Salle and St. Kevins in Round 2.

    Round 3 saw our third Premier debutant take to the field in the battle between University Blacks and Blues. Pranav Kalra spent a number of seasons running the boundary with the South Metro Junior Football League, before joining us in 2015. Pranav has been a regular fixture in B grade for the past two seasons, and was appointed to the Premier C Reserve Grand Final in 2016. He was also seen running the Premier C grand final on the same day, helping cover umpire illness.

    Congratulations to you all, and we are sure you have many more Premier games to come!

    AGM

    The VAFAUA AGM was held on Thursday 27 of April in the Elsternwick Park rooms. The annual report was presented to, and accepted by, the membership and can be found on our website.

    It’s not all about footy…

    The South East Cricket Association announced its new Hall of Fame inductees earlier this year, and we’re proud to see a VAFAUA member on the list. Long time VAFAUA Field Umpire Tony Corr has been recognized for his contribution to SECA, alongside other distinguished players, coaches, umpires and administrators. All at the VAFAUA extend our congratulations to Tony on achieving this wonderful honour, and for his long-serving contribution to local sport.

    Trivia Night

    Our first major social/fundraising event of the season, the Trivia Night, will be held in our rooms on the 20th of May. Doors will be open from 6pm, with the first question at 6:45pm.

    The trivia will be hosted once again by head coach Tony ‘Rowdy’ Hales, and as always the specific challenges are TBC on the night. The evening is certainly not just for umpires, and the trivia is mixed – bring along your family and friends! 

    You can nominate a whole table, or just join a table on the night. Yes, there are prizes for the winner, and no, it’s not always the president’s table that wins.

    Put your name down at training, or email secretary@vafaua.asn.au to let Goughy know you’re coming.


    ROUND 4 APPOINTMENTS - Reminder that Schedula is the definitive source of appointments. If there is any doubt, please refer to your coach.

  • 28/04/2017 10:45 AM | Anonymous

    Umpires have mates too…

    For the last 10 years, young umpires from around the state have been given the opportunity receive mentoring from an AFL umpire through the AFL Victoria ‘Mates’ program.

    Each umpire meets with their mentor half a dozen times during the season to talk about umpiring, and to develop match plans.

    This season, Jackson Gillespie and Hamish McCartney have been lucky enough to be selected, and have been paired with AFL umpire Leigh Fisher. Congratulations on being selected to participate in the program Hammer and Slayer, and we know it will help develop your umpiring even more.


    Speaking of AFL Umpires…

    As per previous seasons, we’ll be having AFL Umpires joining us for training this Tuesday!

    Get along to training on Tuesday night to meet AFL umpires Rob O’Gorman, Ben Ryan, Rob Haala and Michael Craig.

    Vintage Umpires

    As part of the VAFA 125 year celebration, the VAFAUA is looking for umpires with our old uniforms. The older the better! These will be used in a photo/video shoot. If they still fit, you are welcome to be involved – otherwise we can find a suitable model!

    Please email president@vafaua.asn.au if you’re able to help out!

     

    Who recognises this strapping young umpire in one of our previous uniforms? Hint - he's still involved with umpiring!

    Trivia Night

    Our first major social/fundraising event of the season, the Trivia Night, will be held in our rooms on the 20th of May. Doors will be open from 6-6:30pm, with the first question at approximately 7:00pm. We'll confirm exact timings closer to the day.

    The trivia will be hosted once again by head coach Tony ‘Rowdy’ Hales, and as always the specific challenges are TBC on the night. The evening is certainly not just for umpires, and the trivia is mixed – bring along your family and friends!  

    You can nominate a whole table, or just join a table on the night. Yes, there are prizes for the winner, and no, it’s not always the president’s table that wins.

    Put your name down at training, or email secretary@vafaua.asn.au to let Goughy know you’re coming.

    ROUND 3 APPOINTMENTS HERE - Remember that there may be changes after this document was published, and Schedula remains the primary method for obtaining appointments. If you're in any doubt, contact your coach!

  • 21/04/2017 7:38 PM | Anonymous

    Thunderbolts and Lightning…

    After an eventful Round 1, I’m sure most players and umpires appreciated the extra week recovery (with chocolate)! The conditions on Saturday Afternoon and Sunday challenged even the most experienced umpires. Widespread rain, lightning and in some cases, dust storms, sent most umpires scrambling for a copy of the rulebook for guidance.

    Congratulations to all umpires in the way they handled this rare situation, particularly those faced with leaving the field, and managing players and club officials during the abandonment of play. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder that while we all love our footy, the safety of the players, spectators and ourselves must always be our primary consideration. The VAFAUA will always support any umpire who makes a safety related decision.

    Football Integration Development Association (F.I.D.A)

    Many VAFA umpires have been involved with FIDA over the years; none more so than Mark ‘Gibbo’ Gibson and Tim Sutcliffe. In taking over the role from Gibbo, Tim worked tirelessly to arrange for umpires to officiate matches on a volunteer basis, and would often end up umpiring 3 or 4 games on a day to ensure all matches were covered. We are delighted to hear that Tim now joins Mark as a Life Member of FIDA. Congratulations Tim – this is a well-deserved honour.

    Over the many years of VAFA and VAFAUA involvement, FIDA has gone from strength to strength and is offering more and more opportunities for players with an intellectual disability to take the field.  With this growth came the challenge for us to find sufficient volunteers each week; a task which was becoming overwhelming.

    With AFL Victoria now taking a more substantial role in the management of FIDA, Adrian Fisher has been appointed as the FIDA’s first formal umpiring coordinator. From this season on, FIDA will pay umpires for their services. While the VAFAUA now steps back from its role in providing volunteers for regular season FIDA matches, we are actively encouraging umpires to give umpiring FIDA matches a go – it is a very rewarding experience.

    For more, Adrian can be contacted by email at jelmac@optushome.com.au

    Social Secretary’s night out…

    While you would expect the topic of conversation would have been the lightning, it turns out that our Social Secretary Haydn ‘HOC’ O’Connor set the tongues on fire when arriving for his Saturday evening game at Old Xavarians. HOC arrived appropriately dressed in pants and polo, but in addition to his sports bag, he was carrying a nice ladies dress. When casually questioned as to the reason for the dress, he revealed that he was heading out on the town after the match.

    It wasn’t until after the match when Haydn’s girlfriend came looking for her dress that the penny dropped. We hope you both had a good night out!


    ROUND 2 APPOINTMENTS - Reminder that while these are current as of Friday Morning, umpires should check Schedula for up to date appointments. Any queries should be directed to Brian Woodhead or your coach.

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